The healthcare and pharma industry has been slower to embrace digital marketing compared with other US verticals we track. Heavy regulation makes ad targeting more difficult, which has kept traditional media buys and in-person marketing popular. However, the coronavirus pandemic restricted many of these in-person touchpoints, which caused both the B2B and business-to-consumer (B2C) aspects of the healthcare and pharma industry to further embrace digital advertising.
We expect the US healthcare and pharma industry will spend $9.53 billion on digital advertising this year, up 14.2% from 2019.
With a public health crisis serving as the single biggest factor impacting advertising this year, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that healthcare and pharma will be among the fastest-growing industries in digital ad spending, coming second only to the computing products and consumer electronics vertical (whose spend will grow by 18.0% in 2020).
While healthcare and pharma digital ad spend has grown faster in previous years, its 2020 growth is substantial, as the total US digital ad market is expected to grow by only 1.7%.